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October 20th, 2010

A man plead guilty last week to raping and beating a 94-year-old female nursing home resident and now faces a 17-year prison sentence. The incident took place at the Palo Alto Commons nursing home in California in 2002.

Roberto Recendes, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual penetration by force, one count of elder abuse and to an enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury, said Amy Cornell, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman.

This case of nursing home abuse was widely publicized in 2002 when Palo Alto police arrested Jorge Hernandez, only 18 at the time, and got him to confess he committed the crimes. Hernandez was later exonerated by DNA evidence.

In 2004 Recendes was convicted of domestic violence charges and a sample of his DNA was taken. Recendes was deported to Mexico at that time, but was brought back to the U.S. two years later when authorities matched Recendes’ DNA with that found at the rape crime scene.

“Certainly we’re satisfied and pleased that the DNA testing resulted in Recendes being identified as the perpetrator and we could not have prosecuted him without the assistance of the FBI,” said Deputy District Attorney Brian Welch.


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